The latest updates on the British royal family

This week with the British royals, Duchess Sophie put her prince on the spot with a birthday tribute, Diana's old love letters are up for auction and Meghan talks bullying

In the whirlwind of illnesses and conspiracies surrounding the royals at the moment, many have overlooked some of their key happenings as of late. Read this British royal family update to find out more.

‘My best friend’

The duchess put her prince on the spot with a birthday tribute

Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh paid an emotional tribute to her husband Prince Edward to mark his 60th birthday, describing him as “the best of fathers, the most loving of husbands” and “still my best friend”.

And Edward returned the compliment, saying his wife of nearly 25 years was “an absolutely brilliant rock”.

Sophie, 59, made her moving remarks about the late Queen’s youngest child in a speech at a sports awards ceremony she and Edward attended two days before his big day. She said she knew he’d be “horrified at seeing me up here speaking about him in public”, but she wanted to highlight the work he does.

She mentioned the effort he puts in behind the scenes for charities, organisations and the Duke of Edinburgh awards, saying, “He gives 150 percent of himself.”

Birthday boy Edward was emotional during his wife’s impromptu speech.

Sitting in the audience, Edward looked emotional as Sophie continued, “He has been my guide and shown me the way over the years. He has given me so much help and advice – not always taken, I admit. Together, I think we make quite a good team.”

The mum-of-two revealed that Edward, who she says never seeks compliments, was delighted and moved when his brother, the King, made him Duke of Edinburgh on his birthday last year, and the Queen made him a Knight of the Garter in 2006.

“Both he deserves in equal measure and I’m so proud of the man he is,” said a tearful Sophie, who referred to him several times as “my darling husband”.

The duke with his furry pals Teasel (left), Mole and Teal.

Meanwhile, in a TV interview that screened on his birthday on March 10, Edward said his wife was “absolutely critical” to him being able to do his job.

“I’m incredibly lucky that I found Sophie and that she found me. Hopefully, we’ve been a really brilliant partnership.”

He also paid tribute to the couple’s children, Lady Louise, 20, and James, Earl of Wessex, 16, saying they were “brilliant children”.

A plea to mums

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, has spoken out about online bullying she received, saying she cannot fathom how women can “spew hatred” towards other women.

In a speech at an event to mark International Women’s Day, the mum-of-two talked about the abuse she copped on social media while pregnant and said she could not understand why some women were so hateful towards fellow mothers.

“The bulk of the bullying and abuse I was experiencing on social media was when I was pregnant with Archie and Lili… It’s not catty, it’s cruel.”

She added, “As a new mother, it’s a tender and sacred time. What I find most disturbing, as a supporter of women, is how much of the hate is women completely spewing that to other women. And I cannot make sense of that.”

Meghan, 42, added that women had a responsibility not to share “terrible” information they read online about other women with their friends.

The former actor was applauded by her husband Prince Harry, who was in the audience. Harry, 39, is currently embroiled in a case involving his visa application to live in the US. An American organisation, the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, has gone to court to get the US government to reveal whether Harry disclosed his history with illegal drugs – as detailed in his memoir Spare – when he applied to live there.

The centre says if the royal did, he shouldn’t have been granted entry. If he didn’t, he’s in breach of the law. The US Department of Homeland Security had fought to keep Harry’s visa paperwork sealed, but a Washington DC judge has ruled that the DHS has to hand over the files to him so he can assess them.

Up for auction

Love letters written by Princess Diana to James Hewitt could be sold for as much as $1.6 million – and royal experts are hoping their contents won’t be made public in the process.

The 64 letters and notes were written between 1989 and 1991, when the King’s ex-wife was having an affair with the army officer, and are said to be “highly intimate”.

James, 65, tried to sell them in 2003 for $20 million but there were no takers. He also previously offered them as collateral for a $1 million loan before sending them last year to a US auction house to get them valued, with a view to selling them.

Final insult: James is cashing in on his affair with Diana.

Insiders say the correspondence, written in Diana’s distinctive script, would cause embarrassment to the royal family if released. And royal author Ingrid Seward describes them as a “final insult” to the memory of the late princess.

“It is unthinkable these notes from such a sensitive time in her life could become public.”

An auction house employee says the Texas firm has a potential buyer in mind and that a private sale would avoid the contents of the letters being made public.

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